Road to Redemption
Posted by Salman Mitha
Posted in Volleyball
Volleyball Bundesliga Playoffs
by Valentina Angeletti, Special Correspondent, and Salman Mitha
Generali Sport Arena, Unterhaching, March 11 – A week after losing the domestic cup final, Generali Haching turned to another goal: finally winning the Bundesliga title. They started the playoffs slowly, but their talent finally overcame CV Mitteldeutschland 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-18) in Game 1 of their best-of-three playoff series.
“It was not an easy week for us because we lost the final,” admitted head coach Mihai Paduretu. “The guys trained a lot during this last week, as they have been doing in the last month. The team showed that they are good. Mitteldeutschland was an adversary without anything to lose.”
The beginning of the game was pretty even. Mitteldeutschland were active, playing almost every ball to their outside hitter Christoph Helbig, keeping close. Haching had more action in building the game, passing the ball to different players and in different directions. They were solid in the blocks and converted points easier and quicker. Most of the times when they attacked, they scored a point. But they committed many errors and afterr the first technical time out, only led 16-14. Haching called time, took a lead that they held to take the first set 25-21.
Haching had now shaken off the disappointment from their 3-0 loss against rival VfB Friedrichshafen last week and started the 2nd set in control of the match. Paduretu’s men continued to move well, and their attack was converting many points. Mitteldeutschland tried to stay close, but Haching’s was just stronger with their blocks and attacks and they won the set 25-15.
In the final set, Haching lost some of their energy that they had in the 2nd set but turned it on after the first technical timeout and cruised to the 25-18 score and they take a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.
“I am happy with the game, we could have played better in some occasions and I think we played well,” said outside hitter Christian Dünnes, who finished with a game-high 13 points.
Paduretu reminded his team that there is one more game left before they move on. “We have another game that we have to win. After that we will see what we do. But now we have to concentrate only on Wednesday. I think that our performance was really good and I think that with this performance we will win (the series).”
The goal for Haching is to be able to reach the final and hope their rivals from Friedrichshafen also make it. Not only can they make up for the DVV Pokal loss from last week, but redeem themselves from losing five times to VfB in the playoffs over the past six years.
CV Mitteldeutschland will host Game 2 on Wednesday, first serve at 19:30. Game 3, if necessary, will be back in Unterhaching on Sunday, March 18th.
Deutsche Volleyball Liga (DVL) Playoffs – First Round (best of three)
VfB Friedrichshafen vs. evivo Düren, VfB lead 1-0
BERLIN RECYCLING Volleys vs. NETZHOPPERS KW-Bestensee, BER lead 1-0
Moerser SC vs. TV Bühl, TV lead 1-0
Generali Haching vs. CV Mitteldeutschland, Haching lead 1-0
Series resume Wednesday, March 14th.